This year’s winner films at RIFF Reykjavik International Film Festival 2020 have been announced! The award ceremony was streamed to viewers and the audience was invited to participate from their couches!
New Visions Award, The Golden Puffin:
This Is Not a Burial, It’s A Resurrection, by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese
A voyage to a magical and isolated place where the 80 years old protagonist is fighting for nature to stay as nature before it is smashed by modernity, considered as her last mission in life as she is on the edge. The stunning performance of exceptional Mary Twala, the wonderful sound design, the epic images of Pierre de Villiers, help each other to achieve an epic movie. The subject is very related to the current time where a lot of rural areas vanish in the name of progress. The film questions the value of tradition and nature in the world today.
New Visions Special Mention:
Piedra Sola by Alejandro Telémaco Tarraf
On a stunning visual journey through rural Argentina, an intriguing portrait is drawn of a humble, traditional existence. Whilst following llama herder Fidel, during his endeavour to sell meat and fur, we are invited into a visceral experience, one that both inspires and fascinates. Symbolic, mystical, while also intimate and authentic, this carefully observed ethno-cultural journey offers a striking view into a world rarely seen.
Shahrbanoo Sadat, Filmmaker
Jan Naszewski, CEO, New Europe Film Sales
Ísold Uggadóttir, Filmmaker
A Different Tomorrow Award:
Songs of Repression by Estephan Wagner, Marianne Hougen-Moraga
A unique and unexpected journey, extremely well crafted, that deals with vile memories in a place of beauty. It takes us from the love of God to the dark depths of Hell in a very compelling way. With dignity and care, the filmmakers tenderly capture the personal trauma of each character.
A Different Tomorrow Special Mention:
The Earth is Blue as an Orange by Iryna Tsilyk
Our film jury would like to give a special mention to a film that is an uplifting, powerful story from dramatic time with hope, compassion and togetherness. This film carries strong, original film language. Family in filmmaking. Dreams come true in dark times. The reason we are here is because we feel film can bring us hope. In this case, it specifically brings the hope of a better tomorrow to a family united in adversity. Olu lihkku, many heartfelt congratulations to The earth is blue as an orange.
Mágret Jónasdóttir, Producer
Sunna Nousuniemi, Sámi Filmmaker
Simon Brook, Filmmaker
Best Icelandic Short:
Yes-People by Gísli Darri
Our reward for the best short film goes to a film that shows the circuit of everyday life in a – comical – yet realistic light. The spectator is presented to a group of characters well-constructed and we are all familiar with in one way or another. With excellent quality, clearly expressed details, sensitivity, thoroughly constructed movements and elaborate dubbing, where only one word is needed, the film leaves us with a nod and a smile over a collective experience of groundhog days.
Icelandic Shorts Special Mention:
Animalia by Rúnar Ingi
This is a dramatic and tense situation where all is said without a single word. The filmmaker knows how to create tension and at the same time it makes us understand both characters, mother and father.
Best Icelandic Student Short:
The Life of Bella by Andri Már Enoksson and Anna Knight
Life of Bella is a fun film. Well shot, well acted and funny script with dark undertone. The story goes in full circle and the director does a great job on this film.
Þóra Sigríður Ingólfsdóttir, Director of the Icelandic National Film Archive,
Július Kemp, Filmmaker,
Carlos Madrid, Festival Director Cinema Jove.
Best International Short:
Drifting by Hanxiong Bo
The winning short film masterfully dissects a young man’s exploration of his identity with a rich and cinematic visual canvas that is both consistently intimate and probing, as well as kinetic in the main character’s passion for a particular driving technique. In a short amount of time, this filmmaker immerses us in a fraught family dynamic, and with minimal dialogue, the filmmaker expertly conveys the turmoil that engulfs a young Chinese man as he grapples with society’s view of manhood and gender identity.
International Shorts Special Mention
Entre Tú Y Milagros by Mariana Saffon
This great portrait of a mother-daughter relationship reflects a beautiful, rich, meaningful and mature friendship that ignites the screen with electrifying performances. The final scene when both are lying in the sun shines through when the daughter picks up a pair of sunglasses while her mother stares at her for a minute or two. The silence says it all.
Cristèle Alves Meira, Filmmaker
José F. Rodriguez, Filmmaker and Senior Consultant at Points North Institute
Christof Wehmeier, Head of Festival Promotion at the Icelandic Film Center
The 17th edition of RIFF will finish today, Sunday the 4th, after a fantastic hybrid festival bringing high quality films both to cinema and viewers at home.